Chisinau is the capital city of Moldova which is landlocked between Romania and The Ukraine. Things to do in Chisinau;
- Triumphal Arch
- Stephen the Great Park (Stefan cel Mare Central Park)
- Stephen the Great Monument
- Nativity Cathedral
- Liberation Monument
- Museums of Chisinau
There are a decent amount of reasonably priced hotels in Chisinau. I chose in the Hotel Cosmos which is a historic Soviet era hotel.
Located in the center of Chisinau is it’s very own Triumphal Arch. It was built in 1841 to commemorate the victory of the Russian army over the Ottomans. It’s also known as the Arc de Triomphe or the Holy Gate. Moldova is a young country which gained independence in 1991 when the Soviet Union broke up. The independence celebrations were held at the Triumphal Arch. There is talk about Moldova unifying with Romania and joining the EU but for now it’s an independent European country outside of the EU.
Did you know there are also triumphal arches in Bucharest, Thessaloniki and even Pyongyang, North Korea?
Stephen the Great Central Park (Stefan cel Mare Central Park)
Stephen the Great Central Park is located in the center of Chisinau. As a matter of fact it used to be called Pushkin Park. In the 1820’s Alexander Pushkin himself used to stroll around the park. Additionally, the park is a popular meeting place for lovers and often referred to as the ‘park of lovers’. If you’re meeting someone in Moldova for a date, you may want to meet in this park! Within the park is an avenue full of statues and busts. These busts are famous Moldovan and Romanian authors and social figures. Finally, there are a few rides for kids, so if you are visiting Chisinau with kids you may want to check out this park.
Stephen the Great Monument
Located in the center of Stephen the Great Central Park is the Stephen the Great Monument of Chisinau. Stephen the Great also founded some of the painted monasteries in Suceava, Romania. During Soviet times the monument was moved to Vaslui in modern day Romania. The Pushkin monument was the centerpiece of the park under Soviet rule which is why it was called Pushkin Park. An interesting fact is that this was the second park in the world to get a Pushkin monument after Moscow.
The Nativity Cathedral was built in the 1830’s and is the most important orthodox church in Moldova. It’s also a stunning and picturesque building. The church has twice been seriously damaged, particularly during world war II. However, the church you see nowadays was reconstructed in 1997 and appears brand new. Lastly, there is also a Nativity Cathedral in Riga Latvia.
The Liberation monument of Chisinau was erected to commemorate the liberation of Moldova in 1944. The Soviet Union annexed Moldova from Romania at the end of the second world war. For this reason, they speak Romanian in Chisinau. The monument looks like a smaller version of the Washington Monument in the USA.
Museums of Chisinau
Chisinau has a large selection museums including;
- National Museum of History of Moldova
- National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History
- Military Museum
- National Art Museum
Additionally, the Noul Neamt Monastery is another building worth photographing.
Chisinau to Odessa by Minibus
The minibus from Chisinau Nord station to Odessa takes around 3 hours. You have to be careful which bus you take to Odessa because some pass through Transnistria. Transnistria is a country not recognized by the UN as the UN classes Transnistria as being part of Moldova. You may be questioned by immigration whilst passing through the unrecognized country, in fact you may not get stamped out of Moldova at all. I chose a minibus which did not pass through Transnistria but afterwards I wish I had. It would have been another country to add to the list.
Odessa to Kharkov